U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu Resigns
February 4, 2013 1:44 PM
comment(s) - last by
He plans to return to California
U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced Friday that he is resigning from his role, but a successor has not been named.
Chu, a scientist and Nobel Prize winner who assumed office in January 2009 as the 12th U.S. Secretary of Energy, had planned to leave for a few months now. When President Barack Obama took office after the November 2012 election, Chu told Obama that he wanted to return to his academic life in California, where he served as director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Chu wrote a letter of resignation, which was published on Friday. He listed the department's many accomplishments while he was in office, such as the doubling of
clean, renewable energy
from wind and solar; helping one million low-income homeowners weatherize their homes; building, opening and retooling more than a dozen auto manufacturing plants for hybrids and EVs; launching the first national scale rooftop solar project, which will include commercial buildings in up to 28 states, and giving grants/loans to over 1,300 companies through the Recovery Act.
However, Chu's time as secretary hasn't been all roses and rainbows. The Department of Energy had been given $36 billion in stimulus money to spend, and Chu was criticized for giving some of the money to clean energy companies as loan guarantees and grants when they eventually filed for bankruptcy.
One of the most
notable failures was Solyndra
, a Silicon Valley-based solar panel company that received $535 million from DOE in 2009. The move was set to stimulate economic growth through environmentally friendly jobs, but in September 2011, Solyndra declared bankruptcy -- laying off 1,100 workers.
The biggest issue was that the money was given despite previous warnings of Solyndra's viability. Only days before the final approval, an email predicted that the project would run out of money in 2011. Another email from government staffers questioned the model the government was using, but said "given the time pressure we are under to sign off on Solyndra, we don't have time to change the model."
Reports state that the White House pushed the loan ahead despite warnings in order to meet political deadlines.
There were other green energy loan failures too, such as a $43 million loan guarantee to
in 2010 (the company filed for bankruptcy in November 2011) and a $118.5 million grant to
subsidiary EnerDel in 2009 (Ener1 Inc. filed for bankruptcy in January 2012).
Nevertheless, Chu has made great strides in efficient energy in the U.S. He said only 1 percent of the 1,300 companies filed for bankruptcy. He's also pushing for the continued support of green energy into the future.
"The test for America's policy makers will be whether they are willing to accept a few failures in exchange for many successes," wrote Chu.
Chu plans to keep his role through the end of February, but will then return to California. A successor has not been named yet, but a few candidates are former North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and former San Francisco hedge fund manager Tom Steyer.
You can read Chu's full resignation letter
U.S. Department of Energy
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Better then hedge funds!
2/6/2013 12:11:19 PM
Just a minor observation, but Dan, why should I pay much attention to your comment if you can't use the English language properly?
"This is from the DailyTech.com. It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh
Battery Maker EnerDel/Ener1 Received $118M DOE Grant, Now Filing for Bankruptcy
January 27, 2012, 10:01 AM
DOE Deals Another Bad Energy Loan as Beacon Power Files for Bankruptcy
November 1, 2011, 10:03 AM
DOE Review: EVs, Grid Modernization to be Focus of 2013 Spending
September 30, 2011, 10:05 AM
$500 Million Wasted on Bankrupt Solar Panel Company; White House was Warned
September 14, 2011, 4:22 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Cool Science Video: This is What a McDonald's Burger Looks Like in Your Stomach
April 7, 2015, 1:43 PM
Most Popular Articles
As iPad Sales Wane and Watch Flops, iPhone Saves Apple's Profit With Its Heroics
July 22, 2015, 6:13 PM
Editorial: Reddit Allows Itself to be Hijacked as a Hate Platform For Racist Bigots
July 21, 2015, 6:32 PM
Microsoft July 29 Windows 10 Launch: Freebies, Rollout, and What's Next
July 21, 2015, 2:40 PM
Mozilla and Facebook to Adobe: It's Time to Kill Flash
July 20, 2015, 6:30 PM
Google Scores Bizarre Court Win as Disgruntled Android Users' Lawyers Ruin Case
July 16, 2015, 5:58 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information